Vessels sinks have increasingly become popular over the past 10 years. While some people find them to be a headache when it comes to keeping them clean, others enjoy the unique feel and look they bring to a bathroom. In this definitive guide, you will learn everything you need to know about these fixtures.
In This Guide
- What is a vessel sink?
- The origin of the vessel style
- Is the vessel sink fitted with the right faucet?
- Should the design and style of your vessel sink match with other bathroom accessories?
- Selecting the right shape of vessel sink
- Install the vessel sinks at the right place
- Choosing the right vessel sink material
- Ceramic & Porcelain
- Copper and Bronze
- Stainless Steel
- What’s Next
What is a vessel sink?
A vessel sink is a type of sink that is designed to sit on the surface of a countertop. While some vessel sinks are partially recessed, others are designed to completely rest on a countertop’s surface. Unlike most styles of sinks that require the basin to be lower than the countertop’s surface, a vessel sink is higher.
Some vessel sinks are partially recessed in a hole to allow the basin to have sturdy support. Homeowners can choose from a wide range of designs, styles, and materials such as glass, copper, and wood. The basins can be constructed into different shapes such as square, rectangular or nearly flat.
It is, therefore, important to evaluate all your plumbing needs before investing in vessel sinks as you can incorporate the sinks into any design. It is also crucial to remember that vessel sinks don’t have overflow relief drains, meaning that the faucets have to be installed separately.
The origin of the vessel style
The use of washstands peaked in the 1800s. Their use, however, faded out as tap water became widely available. Wash basins were used commonly for personal cleaning; they were kept as bowls atop washstands with a water pitcher. Hence, the wash basin can be fairly referred to as the early form of a bathroom sink.
The modern vanity was born when certain features such as mirrors and soap dishes were added to the washstands. In other words, it is assumed that the vessel sinks are a throwback to a time when running water was considered a preserve for the wealthiest in the society. Currently, vessel sinks are widely used in many homes to add some elegance to the bathroom.
Is the vessel sink fitted with the right faucet?
The vessel sink has to be fitted with the right faucet that allows water to pour into the center of the basin because it stands well above the countertop, unlike other sinks. This means that if you choose a faucet that pours water along the edges of the sink, you’ll experience regular water splashes and your bathroom will look messy. You have to take into the account the space between the sink rims and the length of the faucet’s neck for it to function optimally.
Should the design and style of your vessel sink match with other bathroom accessories?
Your vessel sink will be the focal point in your bathroom. Moreover, vessel sinks tend to appear above the rest of the interior décor and bathroom fixtures. Therefore, since they tend to dominate, you don’t have to worry about whether the design, shape, material, or style of vessel sink you install match with other bathroom accessories. Vessel sinks remain afloat and will continue serving the functions they were intended to.
Selecting the right shape of vessel sink
There is a wide array of vessel sink shapes on the market. While it is advisable to explore and perhaps try out different shapes, it is safer to settle for regular shapes such as square-shaped and rounded vessel sinks. These are the most popular styles that are also easy to install.
Install the vessel sinks at the right place
Vessel sinks can be installed in a cabinet that holds the drain assembly or on a pedestal. The installation is often determined by the vessel sink’s material and its base. Regardless of the type of vessel sink you choose, these two factors are very crucial as they determine the stability and depth of your installed fixture. In addition, the vessel sinks have to be installed professionally in order to enhance the look of your bathroom.
Choosing the right vessel sink material
Choosing the vessel sink material that will transfigure your bathroom can be a challenging task. But, knowing the features of different vessel sink materials will help you make an informed decision.
The possibilities of color and shape with glass vessel sinks are limitless. In addition, glass can be given the form of other materials such as bronze and porcelain. Glass vessel sinks are not only the most popular option but also cheap and lightweight. However, they are a little too brittle compared to the other materials on this list.
Ceramic & Porcelain
Ceramic refers to materials made from a process that involves the healing of clay in a kiln. On the other hand, porcelain refers to a type of ceramic that has been heated to a much higher temperature of between 2,300 and 2,700 degrees F. Porcelain materials are considered sturdier compared to other types of ceramics. When enamel is added to porcelain, the end product is referred to as Vitreous China. Enamel gives the material a glass-like shine and texture.
Both porcelain and ceramic sinks can be made with any color and are susceptible to stains. They are also resistant to chemicals. However, acidic cleaners with vinegar can damage the enamel. In general, although porcelain vessel sinks are almost similar to ceramic, porcelain sinks are more durable.
Stainless Steel and Bronze are more durable than glass and porcelain when used for vessel sinks. Metal gives you room for a range of options that can add an alluring color to your bathroom’s style. Metal sinks are resistant to corrosion and can flex under heavy forces without being damaged. Additionally, metal is an antimicrobial material. The finish and color of metallic vessel sinks feel luxurious.
Copper and Bronze
Copper and Bronze form a patina and are likely to change to a darker color over time. In other words, after a few years, your vessel sink will develop an aged, rustic look. Therefore, you have to take good care of the Copper or Bronze vessel sink. In fact, you need to keep polishing the Bronze sink regularly to give it a gold-like finish. Remember, Bronze is more resilient than Copper as it’s an alloy that consists of other various metals apart from Copper.
Hammered nickel is the most popular design of vessel sinks available. Nickel somewhat looks like stainless steel. Nickel will get you a handcrafted and luxurious feel similar to that of hammered copper. You don’t have to use abrasive materials on your nickel or polish it as it doesn’t form a patina. You only need to wipe it out occasionally to maintain its shiny appearance.
Stainless steel is perfect for homes that are exposed to chemicals and high moisture content. That is why most sinks are made of stainless steel. You can find a wide array of shapes and sizes of stainless steel vessel sinks.
The most popular types of vessel sinks on the market are ceramic and glass. With the surge of popularity of vessel sinks, almost every homeowner can afford a vessel sink at nearly any budget level. It is important, however, to remember that these prices don’t include faucets, vanities, or installation. You can get more stability with a recessed vessel sink that sinks about half-way into the vanity. In order to add more appeal to your new home or bathroom remodeling project, consider mixing things up with your vanity.